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Scene Points: New Music Panic!

 by Chelsea Ide  published on Thursday, October 20, 2005


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I've recently fallen in love with a new band -- Panic! At the Disco. The members of the Las Vegas band are barely legal and create intoxicating punk-dance-rock (also known as pop music for hipsters) -- think the Killers meets Motion City Soundtrack. But most of you won't get the chance to experience this Vegas band's '80s dance party for another year or so when the band is huge. And that's sad.

One of the secrets of all independent record store elitists (I should know, I used to be one) is that one of the easiest ways to discover the next big thing before anyone else is to go to shows early. Panic! At the Disco is a good example; the quartet is the most unique and brilliant band on the Nintendo Fusion Tour (also featuring Fall Out Boy, the Starting Line, Motion City Soundtrack and Boys Night Out). While the show, which hits Mesa Amphitheatre on Wednesday, Oct. 26, has talented bands (most of who are not my thing) and the crowd arriving two hours after doors open will have a great time, the most creative band on the bill will only be seen by a fraction of those who dance though Fall Out Boy's set.

I'm in no way saying that Fall Out Boy should be opening for Panic! At the Disco; bands have to pay dues. But if you want to hear something fresh, it's worth heading out right after work. Showing up at 5 p.m. sucks, and the downside to testing this at the Nintendo Fusion Tour is that the tickets are $22, so you'll probably want to stay for the whole show. Sure, $22 isn't going to set you back in your rent or anything, but that's a lot for just testing a new band. So, while I say it's worth it for Panic! At the Disco, you may want to hold off and go the small venue route. Plus, most shows at these kind of places don't start until 7 or 8 p.m., giving you time to eat dinner, change clothes and recruit a posse to attend with you.

If you don't mind driving to Phoenix, the Modified Arts is a great place to discover new bands. Just hit up the venue's Web site, www.modified.org, and look over the calendar to find bands you might be into (the calendar includes brief descriptions of each band). Shows at the Modified tend to be around $6 -- a cheaper way to find the really awesome stuff. The Modified has a knack for bringing the good stuff to Phoenix.

But some nights that 15 minute drive to Phoenix (I drive fasssst) can be too long, and so, I'd opt for hitting up the Clubhouse Music Venue. Not only does this venue have a bar (the Modified Arts is alcohol-free), but it has good variety of bands. Tickets can run you a little bit more (maybe $10), but the venue draws good national bands. Lately, the Clubhouse has also become a popular place for bigger local bands to have CD release parties. So, if you're wanting to step into the local realm, watch the Clubhouse calendar at www.clubhousegigs.com.

Finding new bands isn't hard, but finding the great new ones can take a little time. If you're sick of your friend saying, "Dude, I heard that band like a year ago," then do something about it. Do you really want to be the guy who thinks he found a new band while listening to the radio? Because, seriously, new bands aren't on the radio.

Reach the reporter at chelsea.ide@asu.edu for all your musical recommendation needs.



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